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Mboga Tuu/Jim's Fresh - is a fresh produce of Fruits & Vegetables

Bitter Gourd

Scientific Name : Momordica Charantia L. 

Family : Cucurbitaceae 

Colour : Green 

Common names : Bitter gourd, Bitter melon, Bitter cucumber, Karela (Hindi).

Best Season : Throughout the year 


It is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which is extremely bitter. It is Considered one of the most nutritious gourds, the plant has medicinal properties. A compound known as 'charantin' present in the bitter gourd is used in the treatment of diabetes to lower blood sugar levels. The plant also has a rich amount of Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, phosphorus and carbohydrates. There are several varieties available, having fruits 3-4 inches to even 12inches in length.

This vine has a slender hairy stem with numerous branches and dense foliage. The plant grows up to 6 feet tall hence requires support.It develops small, yellow flowers both male and female, on the same plant. The fruits are green usually oblong, has an irregular surface with warts and 8-10 vertical ridges. When ripe, the fruits turn yellowish orange in colour.

Feeding : 

Fertilzer application is done depending on the soil analysis results and physical observation of the crop health. Regular fertilizing(foliar spray) is essential for its growth. The crop is always water immediately after applying fertilizers(top dressing).

Pest and Diseases:

Bitter gourd is susceptible to many diseases and insect pests.


It is susceptible to watermelon mosaic virus, other cucurbit viruses,Downy mildew and powdery mildew. Powdery mildew and downy mildew  disease is controlled by spraying foliage with fungicide e.g.azoxystrobin,difenoconazole,carbendazim,chlorothalonil,epoxiconazole,propineb,tebuconazole,mancozeb/metalaxyl-M and copper based products.

Insects Pest

The fruits are subject to attack by various Insect pests such as fruit fly, aphids, thrips, caterpillars, leaf miners and white flies.Insecticides with Active Ingredients such as spinosad, lambdacyhalothrin, cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Lufenuron,Azadiractin, acetamiprid, abamectin, imidacloprid  and pyrethrins  are used.

Fruit Fly(Tephritidae)

 Fruit flies is a major pest which poses a serious challenge to the growing of karela world wide. In Mboga Tuu Farms,for the control of fruit fly(Tephritidae), we use Baits/traps (Cera Trap,the see picture below)  which is an innovative system, highly effective and ecologically friendly. 


The net export production yield ranges between 20t to 25t/ha per growing season


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